Verism (from Italian. Il verismo, from the word vero – true, truthful) is a realistic trend in Italian fine art of the late 19th century. The term originated in the 17th century, was used in the visual arts and denoted a realistic stream in Baroque painting. Then the term is revived in the second half of the 19th century, being a designation (very vague, vague) of a realistic and naturalistic trend in Italian art. The most famous artists of this direction are J. Fattori, S. Lega, T. Sinrini, O. Borrani, V. Kabyanka, J. Abbati and others.
The principles of verisma were formed mainly under the influence of French naturalism. Relying on the work of E. Zola, G. Flaubert and G. de Maupassant, verists set the main tasks of their work to be objective and a scientific approach to the study of facts (from the standpoint of positivism) in depicting the life realities of modern Italian society, everyday life and psychology of ordinary people. The national originality of this movement manifested itself in deep sympathy for the oppressed working people, whose life (mainly the peasantry and the poor of the province) was the main content of the novels and short stories of the theoreticians of Verisma – J. Vergi, L. Capuana, D. Ciampoli, operas by P. Mascagni, R Leoncavallo, J. Puccini.
In the visual arts, the immediate predecessors of the verists were the artists of the Florentine school “Macchioli”, who turned in their work to the themes of the national liberation struggle of the Italian people, urban and rural life. In painting, verism was represented mainly by Neapolitan masters who developed socially critical tendencies in art (the struggle of the working class for their rights, hard peasant life) and created a whole gallery of images of prominent figures in Italian history and culture.
However, the verists did not see the public possibility of eliminating social injustice; their works were dominated by moods of pessimism and doom, a passive-naturalistic perception of reality (in literature and painting) or melodramatism, superficial illustrativeness, exaggerated emotionality (in music). Not widespread in the fine arts of Italy, verism nonetheless played an important role in the development of realistic trends in the world art process.
Masters of Verisma: Francesco Paolo Michetti, Giuseppe Pelitstsa da Volpedo, Vincenzo Vela, Francesco Ajec, Giovanni Fattori, Silvestro Lega.